We've been on a rollercoaster ride with my parents the past two days...my sister, Brenda, on the front lines with them, dealing with EMS and emergency rooms...me on the receiving end of texts and phone updates from her.
It started yesterday, when Daddy apparently had a mini-stroke. The sweet! of it is he made it home from the grocery store before it really hit, and by the time EMS arrived, he had recovered.
But during the excitement, my mom fell. She seemed okay at the time, and EMS helped her back into her wheelchair, but this morning when Brenda checked on her and Daddy after church, Mama couldn't put her weight on her left hip. EMS made another visit to the house, but this time whisked Mama off to the hospital, Brenda and Daddy in a car close behind them.
Thank God (literally!) Mama's hip isn't fractured. (I tell you what, that woman has bones of steel!)
But while there, a nurse noticed Daddy looking a little saggy and droopy on one side of his face and body. Sure enough, he was having another mini-stroke. They admitted him, too, and for a time the texts and calls I received today from my sister made me think I needed to head straight to Houston right after work if I wanted to tell my Daddy goodbye one last time.
But...another sweet!...his CAT scan showed no blood on the brain. Daddy perked up, talked to my sister, and asked for a glass of milk. The doctor was concerned about his blood sugar and blood pressure, but that's a broken record I've been listening to, and singing along with, the past ten months.
Seeing as how my Daddy doesn't think he needs his diabetes or heart medicine, the record is bound to start skipping more and more. We're thinking it's time to get firm with those two about moving out of their home of 50+ years into some kind of assisted living.
Please tell me...how do you practice tough love on your parents?
I would appreciate your prayers, but the good thing is, we don't have to do anything about it tonight, so I'm just giving thanks that Mama doesn't have a fractured hip and I don't have to rush to Houston.
Those are the sweet!est things I can imagine right now. But here are a few others from the past week...
Sunday: time between church and work to take your puppies for a swim in the backyard "pool"; a chance to meet with your writing group again after several missed meetings
Monday: working in your church again; watching rain pouring down outside of your window; starting your second real estate class, moving closer to your goal; a successful Silpada party, where you earn enough to pay 1/4 of your real estate class expense, plus get a beautiful silver bracelet for free; photos of your bff's brand-new grandson
Tuesday: people who volunteer for your church; church bells that play "How Great Thou Art" and other hymns; your son and daughter-in-law buying their first home
Wednesday: realizing the coral snake lying a few feet away is dead; visiting with retirees who hang around after communion services, drinking coffee; a gift of tomatoes, squash, and eggplant, fresh from a garden; your story about your dad published on savvydad.com
Thursday: a 95 on your second real estate final; a classmate with jumper cables when you discover your car battery is dead after class; a gorgeous sunset keeping you company on the way home
Friday: plants that smell like spearment; cardinals playing tag all around you; arriving at work early enough to receive communion; a long therapeutic girl-talk visit with a friend
Saturday: great customers all day long; an overnight visit with your son, daughter-in-law, and grandpuppy
Sunday: after a rollercoaster day of texts from your sister about your parents, by the end of it your mom does NOT have a fractured hip, your dad's CAT scan looks good, and you don't have to be torn about whether to take off work to see them; your husband making brownies while you're at work
This morning at church we had a visiting priest, originally from Nigeria - Father Justin Udomah. He told a great story about a pickpocket stealing his wallet, leaving him stranded in a small town...how he asked for help at a local church but was turned down.
He said he was tempted to get angry, but instead, decided then and there that he would never turn away anyone in need. He used the experience to illustrate the story of the Good Samaritan and how we should help each other, but he also stressed the importance of turning the negative in our lives into positive results.
I really liked that.
If you find you have a hard time finding the sweet! moments in your day, or turning the negative into positive, I recommend a book that will help: Basket of Blessings: 31 Days to a More Grateful Heart , by Karen O'Connor. (Full disclosure: this is an Amazon Affiliate link, but I wouldn't offer it if I didn't really recommend it!)
I received it in a box of books Tom brought me from my mother-in-law. It was the first one I read, and now I'm re-reading it, even though I've already developed the habit of looking for those sweet! moments in my day. I'm always looking for inspiration. This book helps you learn to recognize the blessings all around you and make gratitude part of your every day life.
I hope your week overflows wth sweet! moments...a basket overflowing with blessings.
Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture.